Biggest test of Gionta’s captaincy arrives

Hockey Inside/Out and Gazette columnist Dave Stubbs is filling in for Sports Illustrated’s Michael Farber with CJAD Radio-800 commentary weekday mornings at 7:55 a.m. ET, guesting with Abe Hefter. Follow the Canadiens at CJAD’s Habs page here.

Friday, Stubbs spoke of the final four games of the regular season, the Canadiens not yet qualified for the playoffs, being the sternest test of the leadership of first-year captain Brian Gionta.

Listen here to his chat with Hefter and CJAD morning host Andrew Carter.


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  2. StevieM61 says:


    Go Habs!

    Bullet holes in my mirrors . . . .

  3. rocketsglare says:

    No better place than Jersey for Gionta to brake out of his scoring funk
    by scoring a hatty against Marty and the Devils tomorrow night.

  4. HardHabits says:

    Gill should’ve been selected Captain.

  5. Jdub1985 says:

    Everyone knows who the real leader was … Lapps!

    Down hill since … he may have not fought – but he took the brunt of the storm every night – instead, MaxPac breaks his neck.


  6. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Valid point about Gionta. Despite our sucking the last couple of weeks, a win against the Devils, a team that has killed us over the years, will send a message to the fans that this team gets it & will deliver when their backs are against the wall. We’ll have to wait & see.

  7. rocketsglare says:

    What can a captain do when the crew has abandoned ship?

  8. nek25plus says:

    I love Gio…but Hal Gill is the player that carries the load.

  9. dbsanfte says:

    The organization missed an opportunity when it passed Cammalleri up for captain. The man wanted it and, I think, he deserved it.

    I wonder if the Gionta choice wasn’t simply a statement by management as if to reply to all the smurf accusations, “we’re proud of our tiny team!”

    Nothing against the man personally, as if it needed to be said.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Cammy and Gio both deserved it.
      I think that Cammy being a bit of a hot-head moved them towards Gio instead. And Gio’s older.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • WindsorHab-10 says:

      The team comes first. Cammalleri is having an off year. Time to put the last 78 games behind him & concentrate at the task on hand. Winning & competing hard the last 4 games.

  10. habsnyc says:

    The prevalent way of winning in the NHL today is to draft great talent and patiently develop it. Monteal is trying to do it the hard way. Every draft pick or undeveloped player they traded is coming back to haunt them. Pretty much every player in the top 50 in scoring plays for the team that drafted them or was traded once, almost none is a free agent. Granted, Montreal has never placed themselves in the position to draft top talent. But, they cannot win when only six players on the ice were developed by the organization. The vicious cycle of wasting of draft picks trading for injury replacement players because the minors is bare must be broken.

    • mjames says:

      Excellent post . Could not agree more.


    • Mark C says:

      FYI: Just double checked this and it’s about 70% of the top-50 that are still with the team that drafted them.

      In general terms, I agree with your point. However, we’ve really started to see the worm turn recently with Subban, Price, and Max-Pac making large impacts on the NHL roster. The overall quality of the farm system has really improved over the last few years.

      • habsnyc says:

        70% is right + the players who were traded gets to about 90%. i think the only free agents in the top 50 who switched teams are Selanne, Havlat, Briere and Tanguay.

        We have not really seen the worm turn until we see the team resigning players to long terms second contracts or medium term third contracts. Max-Pace and Subban are still on their initial contracts. Price is on a short term second contract.

        Over the past 20 yearse, the team has only given meaningful contracts to three players they drafted – Theodore (2 3 years deals) , Plekanec (5 years) and Markov (4 years). We will see how they treat Kostitsyn and Pacioretty this off season.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      ok! We’re all in agreement here (probably for the first time ever):

      NO MORE INJURIES!!! (to us, to Boston, not so much)

    • 86ontheice says:

      “Patiently developing” is the key. Montreal leads the league in draft picks playing in the NHL. Unfortunately they play for other teams. Impatient fans and media send them away!

      • Nina76 says:

        not only impatient fans & media how about BG & Gauthier BG still has a hand in all the moves we need a change at the top.The players that we trade away always play well for other teams & score alot of goals. I ask you HOW COME!!!!!

  11. eric says:

    The captaincy should have been left to the players just like before.

    • ClaytonM says:

      They should always let the players vote. The Captain is supposed to be the intermediary between players and officials or management I thought. Saying to your 20 players who their leader is smacks of favoritism to me. Gionta may be their leader. Prove it, let them vote.

      Ken Dryden For NHL Commissioner

  12. Bugs says:

    Pac-Man in next game against Chicago.
    Bruins are gonna have a field day with this…

    Chillin like MacMillan, potty-boy says he’s L. B. Potter, esq.

  13. 24 Cups says:

    Gretzky to play a prominent role in the new look NHL for 2013.

  14. mjames says:

    I think the team has run out of gas. We may or may not make the playoffs. If we do we are done after four.

    I think Pleks has been overworked just as Price has been. I think what we are seeing from Gionta and Cammy is what we can expect for the next three years. Gomez is basically finished. I would try to trade him next year. If there are no takers I would put him in Hamilton. He is an okay third line player but unfortunately we can no longer afford to carry his contract given his limited output and the teams overall offensive inadequacies. It has reached the point where we now talk about his dressing room contributions as justification for his contract. We don’t even acknowledge his play on the ice. The bottom line is we can no longer afford the luxury of carrying a Gomez. Let’s face it. It was bad deal. Let’s move on.


    • Praj12 says:

      I totally agree with you. This site change was for the worst. Now we have the cmmericals on the sde of the site and there seems to be lss HABS content. This site will not last the yr. Who the F cares about Jade Monkey!!

    • mrhabby says:

      habs would never put gomez in Hamilton despite everyones hate on for him. Habs would best try and trade him to some team that barely makes the salary cap floor (like thats going to happen) sending him to hamilton sends a terrible message to other players who might consider signing in montreal.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Any player to whom that would be a terrible message, we don’t want.

        I think Hamilton is a fantastic message. It says this is The Montreal Canadiens and if you are not coming here to bleed blu blanc rouge and win a Stanley Cup don’t even bother getting off the bus.

    • newbrunswick troy says:

      i couldn,t say it any better myself, actualy i would have made more spelling errors!!! But you are right on the money…this team was built not inticipating any major injuries….well…so they actually faired well considering, but i don,t see them crawling out of this funct, they will limp in to the playoffs….but four games later????
      Oh and Gomez is absolutly untradable, unlesss the habs took a 4million dud of someones hands and even then would have to throw Price in!!

    • helluva habs fan says:

      Agreed, but Gomez is here to stay and there’s nothing to be done about it. He’s untradable, they’ll never send him to Hamilton and a buyout saves us no money when his salary dips in two years. He’s just another on a list of high priced players that aren’t as good as other teams’ high priced players.
      We’re a good team, but not a great team. I think there’s still a possibility of doing some damage in the playoffs, if only because of last year’s run. They looked done like dinner when the playoffs started and surprised eveyone. Now they’ll probably slip to 8th and personally, I’d pick the Flyers before the Caps or Bruins at this point.

  15. Nahlsy says:

    Wow, Luchicken broke her orbital bone in that fight with Rosehill last night, sucks to be her. (I feel really bad … ok not really)

  16. mjames says:

    Just a comment on the new and supposed improved web site. It looks like the only contributors are Boone and Hickey. In the older version we had access to much greater number of reporters/writers such as Hickey, Fisher, Basu, Todd, etc. Additionally if anyone is interested the “search” feature does not work.
    I think the move to Hockey Inside Out from Habs Inside Out had something to do with a profit related matter. Because this is now a part of the Gazette I guess we have to pay for these other columnists/reporters. It would interesting if Cowan, Boone or Stubbs would comment on this.

    Given the reduced amount of Habs related material on this cite, I think we will see a gradual reduced interest as the site is a shell of its former self. They really should have left the cite alone.


    • bwoar says:

      For crying out loud, it’s ‘site’. And the always-charming Stu Hackel still posts here. So what?

      Red’s (and, ugh, Jack Todd’s) articles were linked to from the old site, which does still happen here. Get a cup of coffee, and read more carefully please before complaining. It would be a waste of time for the writers of this site to comment on this.

      • mjames says:

        Thank you for your kind input. However, I really have not been seeing any links to other writers as we had before. I also beg your indulgence for my inexcusable use of the word “cite”. We as whole are much better off , thanks to you.


        • bwoar says:

          Someone’s gotta do it; Boone’s got columns to write.

          Here is a helpful link, to show you what I am talking about:

          You’ll see, there are links to other writers on that page. If my message comes off as petulant, it’s that this site is so full of fucking whiners complaining about the new format that I am starting to lose it.

          Things change, and sadly people hate change. So we get stuck with Bitchfest Inside/Out, reunion tours, Winnipeg, Mike Milbury, and most of Quebec. Enough already.

          I could’ve given you a thumbs-down and saved us all the time but there are people who see the value in these superfluous posts.

    • Mattyleg says:

      This site was always part of the Gazette.
      From the very beginning.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  17. Timo says:

    Max is skating?! Holy crap! Unreal.

    As far as Gionta… well, so what if he failed this presumed test of his captaincy? What are the consequences? Contract is signed, paycheck is coming bi-weekly… so some beat writer in Mtl media will write a critical article en francais that Gionta can’t read anyway. Big whoop. He hasn’t showed much in term of captaincy because team is in the crap shoot, his buddy is playing like crap and Gionta himself isn’t exactly setting world on fire for the money he’s being paid.

    Test of captaincy… pfft.

    • bwoar says:

      Agree on Gionta, this whole year is a test of captaincy. So far, I think the result is a resounding “meh” but we’re just now at the part of the season where leadership is tested.

      The real test comes after game 82. If there isn’t a game 83 then the grade will b F. F sharp, for that matter.

      And consequences? Like anyone is gonna do anything if this team fizzles like it seems ready to. I’ve already said this: Management gave up months ago. They have no intention of being competitive this year beyond making the playoffs. Habs brass are content to let this season ride and hope for less injuries next year. That message should’ve been clear at the deadline.

      EDIT: I ought to have said, I don’t find Gionta’s production to be sub-par this year, considering the circumstances. But there will be many questioning his leadership if the wheels don’t stay on the wagon.

  18. ClaytonM says:

    Just a thought on a quiet day, but if we somehow manage to sign Markov, Gorges & Wiz in the Summer, our D is set for awhile. The main reason is due to Markov & Gorges being out this season – It’s put PK’s development track in the express lane. Instead of being the best defenceman in the AHL or getting Weber ice time, he’s been given a burden and a half this season, both on the ice with special teams and in dealing with the media. So now we’re looking at 3 powerful offensive threats on D, 2 who can also excel on the PK, plus Gorges, maybe Gill, Mara, Sopel, Weber, Picard, Spacek, & Hamrlik to round out the 6. All that with Price not yet in his prime.

    But go ahead, Toronto Sports Network, keep talking about Reimer as the Second Coming.

    Ken Dryden For NHL Commissioner

    • Al aboo says:

      dont really need wiz if markov is back healthy?…………

    • Jonson says:

      i dont see the point of keeping the wiz, weber be awesome next year. and spend the money on Dman who can play defence. you only really need 2-3 max offensive dmen. pk weber and maybe Markov. but lets get some dmen who can defend. it will make price’s job a lot easier.

      • bwoar says:

        A player who can’t crack the lineup most of the time will not be awesome next year, he will be in his 2nd apprentice year. Still 2 years away from being a reliable option on D.

      • Greg says:

        Are you suggesting Wiz can’t play defence? I think he’s been pretty good defensively! For a team that struggles with offence, I don’t know if we can count on Weber to produce like Wiz has this year. A power-play needs two waves, and I LIKE these pairings:


        The first wave has creativity and a cannon, the other has less creativity but two cannons! The problem with having one, dedicated shot from the point is that it’s easy to read and cover, eg. Sheldon Souray. For next season, I really like:

        Weber still needs some seasoning. I realize that Gill or Hammer might not be back, but Hammer and Spatcho playing low minutes can be very effective, and as we’ve shown… injuries happen.

        • bwoar says:

          Not suggest, I’ll flat out say that Big Wizz is a C-grade defender. I see next year’s D like:


          • ClaytonM says:

            I doubt Hamrlik will be here next season, definitely not at his current salary. But my main question is if Wiz is C-grade, why is he in your 2nd pairing? Also, you haven’t got one proven tough guy in all 6 listed. I wouldn’t keep Sopel or Mara if they weren’t solid defensively, but they are. Plus, leaving out Gill? Nonsense lol

            Ken Dryden For NHL Commissioner

        • habstrinifan says:

          I agree with bwoar below. Have you been watching closely Wiz’s play. No way should we sacrifice what it will cost to keep him. Spend the money on a BIG/STEADY/STAY AT HOME DEFENSEMAN and let Weber, P.K, Georges handle offensive role son D, including PP. Whatever they do please do not saddle the team with an A level contract for a b (or c) level player… reminds you of anyone presently on the team?

    • 24 Cups says:

      I can’t see the need for the Wiz if Markov is re-signed. You might be looking at a combined $11M a season (long-term) to snag both.

      In some ways, Subban already is our best defenseman after just one year. He’s certainly better than the Wiz and might be just as good as Markov in another year of two.

  19. Ian Cobb says:

    By clicking onto others avatar or picture, we can now see who we are talking to.

    HIO site is sure coming along nicely. Now how do we get contact info for each poster.?

    • Chris Roy says:

      From a 3-year lurker and first time poster, I have to say that the switch from Joomla to WordPress is splendid! It’s a big change, so I understand some of the naysaying, but as far as security and usability go, WP is a big improvement for admins and users and the new design, while not exactly a picture of uniqueness, is passable.

      Now, onto the Habs…

  20. Ton says:

    Tough kid Max is, he also spoke out and took a chance, maybe other players his age on this team should the same. why weber is not given the chance to develop in lieu of players that have reached their maximum potential< Gil, Mara, Sopel, Darche, etc.

    • ManApart says:

      Because the damn team is always on the bubble and can’t afford to take chances with the youth. JM’s job is on the line here, so he goes with the experienced guys and doesn’t like to take chances.

      • Jonson says:

        or maybe he is a doorknob ( he seriously benched Eller for one mistake? gomez shouldnt even be playing if you base a guys ice time on how he plays.)
        ive been waiting to see Weber back in the lineup for the last 5 games or so. SOpel is god awful……i was warned by a Blackhawk fanatic.
        i think Mara has been really solid. hopefully weber will be back in the lineup soon.

      • The Cat says:

        Its part not taking chances, part lockerroom politics I think.

        [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

      • Nina76 says:

        Right on ManPart!!!!!!!

  21. Mr.Hazard says:

    I miss Captain K….

  22. Bred says:

    He’s… He’s… invincible.

    Patches Skating this morning:

  23. ths says:

    Great stuff Dave. Torts is one of the great characters and prob a good coach. Maybe his intensity would wear thin after awhile but he blows JM out of the water so hopefully he can survive this year.
    Hes probably a straight arrow who could grab you by the throat one instance then talk it over a beer after

    Ooh Aah Habs on the war path

    • Mattyleg says:

      He blows JM out of the water if you consider making a lot of noise and being unemployed as a coach for long periods of time a sign of a good coach.

      By that rationale, Michel Therrien must be the best coach in the business in your books. AND Mario Tremblay.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

  24. Ian Cobb says:

    Crosby does not know this yet, but for not waiting until he was totally clear of calcium in the brain cells after his first concussion, he could probably now have some permanent brain cell damage. How much if any will be told in time.

    I will try to explain, the best that I can, what happens to the brain cells that have been concussed inside the skull. And why one must stay completely resting after a concussion.

    The very soft brain cells, when violently thrown against the skull, are damaged and the neuron releases a potassium chemical out of the brain cell. Leaving a void.

    Calcium that is already present around the outside of the cells, seeps into the cells replacing the potassium. This calcium is what gives the chemical imbalance to the brain and is what causes the damage.

    Until all of this calcium leaves the brain cells completely, and it can take a long time, depending on how much calcium was taken on each cell. The patient is left extremely vulnerable to instant death upon a second bump, or at least permanent brain damage.

    Even a hard coughing spell or light exercise can cause severe pain and damage. Complete rest is needed.

    These damaged cells have to be cleared completely of this calcium before one can resume activity to avoid more serious consequences including death.

    This is very acute in young people under the age of 24 as the brain is still growing and developing.

    Please, coaches and parents know this, every contact to the head can cause some cells to expel potassium and take on calcium. A second, even slight bump, with the cells still containing calcium, can be even more deadly.

    Ian Cobb

    • The Cat says:

      The thing thats difficult is that its a different case scenario for every one. I once hit the pavement very hard in the early 90s, hard enough for some to wonder if Id live (kinda like maxPac). I got up on my own with blood on my face and walked around (while not being aware of doing so -a sure sign of a concussion) Of course back then concussions werent a household word. I went to the hospital via ambulance, was sent home, and didnt really have any nasty side effects afterwards. Its all complicated really, maybe theres some spots on the head more vulnerable than others.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • LeeFree says:

      Very good info – you learn something new every day. Thanks!

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Sorry to say Ian but that is just about as wrong as can be.

      • Chris Roy says:

        Right in some scenarios perhaps, but a dire outlook as far as a blanket “concussion” discussion goes. I’ll place my faith in NHL-calibre trainers and doctors, Sid’s included.

      • Strabo says:

        Both of you are wrong, because neither of you offer anything to back up your statements.

        @Ian, and HabFan

        “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

      • ManApart says:

        The funny thing about Ian, is he seems to know more than the people who are actually in their situations. He knows more than Crosby and his doctors about what’s happening in Crosby’s brain. He knows what happens behind closed doors with the NHLPA and the League head offices. He knows Max Pac privately wants a police inquiry into the Chara incident, even though he publicly stated he doesn’t want them involved. He talks to OHL coaches and NHL players on a regular basis and they all seem to agree with everything he says. I’m surprised he’s not the commisioner of the league with all his insight lol.

      • Ian Cobb says:

        What is wrong my friend. The science is clear!

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